Thursday, September 2, 2010

Daring Hope

I've been feeling bad lately. Bad enough to start seeing my therapist again. The brief healthy respite I had in July and most of August is over. All vestiges of balanced living and eating have taken flight. I've stumbled more times than I can count in this last week and I can't seem to find my feet again. I barely sleep, and my disordered eating is out of control.

What's more, I've started questioning if a work-at-home writing gig is best for me right now. I've always found writing to be a very vulnerable activity, and that it takes guts to put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard, as the case may be). While I'm not abandoning my novel dreams, I think it's time for them to become an extracurricular pursuit instead of my life and work. When my status quo is as stable as a seesaw, it just seems like I shouldn't be throwing more crazy-making ingredients into the mix.

With this truth dawning in the back of my mind, I browsed the local Craig's List during one of this week's many sleepless nights. I've always liked to randomly see what jobs are out there, no matter what my employment situation, and this time a hospitality posting for a local(ish) resort caught my eye. I emailed my resume and didn't give it much thought until I received a call from the resort hiring rep the next day, offering an interview.

I took him up, and yesterday I drove the 30 minutes through the beautiful Rocky Mountain country that I all but forgot existed outside of the city limits to the interview. It was a brief conversation, and I was offered a housekeeping job pretty much right away. I left, amazed by the fabulousness of the resort and soothed by the surrounding quiet of the forest.

Before leaving for the interview, I'd thought ahead and brought one of the pups so we could take advantage of the trails around the resort. Jackson was confused by the longer-than-usual trip to a romp, and by being left in the car during my interview, but I think he considered the final walk worth the wait. As we trekked through the mud and rain in one of area's national forests, I thought about the job and whether I should take it.

Puppy glee
To be frank, I'm very over-qualified for the position. I hold an undergraduate and graduate degree, and the most this job requires is a GED or high school diploma. I'm skilled, intelligent, and experienced in teaching and learning, and this job will probably draw upon absolutely none of these skills. The work itself will be hard and thankless. But the pay is good -- in fact, it seems that it will pay better than all of my past jobs once even modest tips are factored in (apparently there is a required 18% gratuity, to give you an idea of the resort's swankiness). Most importantly to me, however, is that this job will force me out of the house, out of my routines and habits, and (hopefully) out of my disordered rut.

Still, after sleeping on it (or, really, not-sleeping on it), I was still undecided early this morning. Should I take the job? Should I feel ashamed that I want it? Shouldn't I want more? But the truth is that right now I think I need the autopilot hard labor of the housekeeping job. I need to get out of the city more.

I chatted about the position with both the Best Husband Ever and (via email) with blogging friend Clare. Something that Clare wrote really floored me, even though I had already accepted the job by the time I read it. Seemingly without hesitation, she responded to my virtual driveling with this:
Wow that job sounds amazing. Don't feel ashamed about that for one second. There is nothing to decide. Many people do the college route and find that they are just happier doing "simple" work such as housekeeping or stocking shelves. It is work, someone has to do it, and you get paid for it...and if you come to the realization that you enjoy that, then your college degrees or something else has taught you the most important lesson of life. You need to be peaceful right now, not induce anxiety, and if this job is making you feel that you could find some peace and structure, go with it!
(Don't you just love her optimism? Thank you, Clare!) Seriously? The housekeeping job "sounds amazing"? Maybe it does. I guess we'll see. I start tomorrow! I'm praying/pleading/hoping that a new job will help me (yes, help -- I know nothing will be a cure-all) to heal and transition from crazy, disordered, and depressed to this:


Dare to hope with me?


  1. Yes! Take it! Take it! (Yeah, I'm late ;-) ) It does sound like a refreshing change from your current status. I'm super excited for you! Let me know how things go! I'm glad that you found this opportunity and I look forward to hearing about your new adventure! <3

  2. Stephanie (dancingwaSeptember 2, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    For a long time, I felt that way about my current job. It really doesn't utilize many of my skills, ec., but it was exactly what I needed at the time. It wasn't work I took home with me, it was structured, there was no commuting, I had more time than I knew what to do with working 35 hour weeks after working 50-60 hour ones for quite some time.I'm at a point now where I'm ready to move on and the attorneys are supportive of my decision. They know where I'm headed is going to be a better fit, but I also know that had I jumped from one intense job to another, I would've fried... badly.Good luck and I wish you luck. I think I might know where you're at, and a former partner of mine used to work there. It was a decent place to be, if I recall correctly.

  3. There is something immensely therapeutic about hands-on work...and no shame whatsoever in wanting or pursuing it. My own family is still confounded that, two degrees later, I'd rather work as a seasonal farm hand then be boxed back into the corporate non-profit world.Here's to hope!

  4. I have a graduate degree and an advanced industry certification, but bottom line is, working in an office made me sad. I've never regretted leaving my high-falootin' job to become a yoga teacher. Am I using my MA? Nope. Am I happy? Yup!The job sounds like it's exactly the right thing for where your life is at now. It's not forever. And allow me to make a prediction: it won't take long for your employers to figure out that they've stumbled across a gem. I predict a promotion when they do!

  5. i do hope for you. Romans 15:13— May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.In Biblical terms, the word HOPE means the EXPECTATION of the joy and peace that God will provide. Not "gosh that would be nice if it happens." Expect it to come, because He always fulfills. Wow, I'm optimistic? Need to turn that on myself, heh.

  6. Congratulations on your new job and congratulations on moving forward toward balance. One thing I have to tell myself constantly is that if I keep doing the same thing I'll keep getting the same result. You are doing something different. In Hawaiian, we say 'imua' (ee-moo-uh) which is forward. I wish you great satisfaction, peace, balance, stability and serenity that you desire.

  7. I always, always, always, ALWAYS dare to hope with you, sweet sister and friend. Love you and can't wait to hear how it's going.

  8. Beth, it sounds like this new job is just what you need right now. Keep us updated on it, okay? Hugs! :)


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King